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No. 20 Pitt ‘getting closer’ with record-breaking 2-0 home win vs Syracuse

From University of Pittsburgh Athletic Department report

No. 20-ranked Pitt women’s soccer team (12-3-1, 5-2-1 ACC) enjoyed a record-setting 2-0 victory over Syracuse (8-6-2, 1-5-2 ACC) Thursday at Ambrose Urbanic Field, setting new program standards for both wins and goals in a single season.

“Great result to get us a bit closer to where we want to be,” head coach Randy Waldrum said.

The Panthers have captured a program-record 12 victories in 2022, surpassing the previous standard of 11 set by the 2020-21 and ’21 squads. Pitt’s five ACC wins this year are the most in a single season in program history since the Panthers joined the league prior to the 2013 campaign. Pitt also set a new program record for goals scored in a single season, raising its total to 43 on the year after potting a pair against the Orange.

In addition to the team records falling, Caitlyn Lazzarini set a program record by earning her 20th career victory in goal, overtaking the previous record of 19 that was shared by Morie Kephart (2007-10) and Jamie Pelusi (2002-05). With 12 victories in goal this year, Lazzarini is also the program’s single season wins leader.

The contest was truly a tale of two halves as Syracuse controlled possession throughout most of the first half. The Orange could not come away with a goal, however, and Pitt made them pay when Bri Hilsenteger found the back of the net in the 44th minute.

With a halftime lead under their belt, the Panthers flipped the script by dominating the final 45 minutes of play. Sarah Schupansky added an insurance goal in the 86th minute to put the contest away.

“I was a bit disappointed in the first-half performance as we turned too many balls over playing out of the back. Our individual defending was also poor,” Waldrum said. “However, in the second half, it was much better. I felt we completely dominated the second half and minimized their opportunities.”

Hilsenteger tallied her second goal of the season while Schupansky added a sixth to her total on the year.

“Great goal with composure by Bri in the first half, then Sarah put the game away with a great individual effort late in the second half,” Waldrum said.

Pitt finished with a 15-8 advantage in shots, including a 12-3 margin in the second half. Landy Mertz totaled a game-high four shots, including three on goal. Schupansky added three with two coming on goal. Ellie Coffield also registered three shots with one on goal. Leah Pais added two shots, including one on goal, off the bench.

“Even though she didn’t score, Landy was fantastic and dangerous almost every time she touched the ball,” Waldrum said.

On her record-setting night, Lazzarini totaled four saves for the Panthers.

Ashley Rauch led the Orange with two shots on goal. Goalkeeper Shea Vanderbosch recorded a game-high six saves but gave up both goals.

UP NEXT
Pitt welcomes No. 4 Florida State to Ambrose Urbanic Field on Sunday for a 1 p.m. tilt. The contest will be streamed live on ACC Network Extra.

PITT NOTES

  • Pitt is now 43-37-5 under the leadership of fifth-year head coach Randy Waldrum. After going 9-22-4 in the first two years of a massive rebuild, Pitt has gone 34-17-1 over the last two-plus seasons.
  • The Panthers matched the 2021 Pitt squad for most home wins in a single season and are a perfect 7-0-0 at Ambrose Urbanic Field this year.
  • Pitt recorded its third-straight victory over Syracuse.
  • Pitt’s seven shutouts this year are tied with the 2015 squad for the second-most in a single season in program history.

 

John Krysinsky has covered soccer and other sports for many years for various publications and media outlets. He is also author of 'Miracle on the Mon' -- a book about the Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC, which chronicles the club, particularly the early years of Highmark Stadium with the narrative leading up to and centered around a remarkable match that helped provide a spark for the franchise. John has covered sports for Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, DK Pittsburgh Sports, Pittsburgh Sports Report, has served as color commentator on Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC broadcasts, and worked with OPTA Stats and broadcast teams for US Open Cup and International Champions Cup matches held in the US. Krysinsky also served as the Head Men’s Soccer Coach at his alma mater, Point Park University, where he led the Pioneers to the first-ever winning seasons and playoff berths (1996-98); head coach of North Catholic boys (2007-08), associate head coach of Shady Side Academy boys (2009-2014).

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